Elizabeth Taylor: The Passing of an Icon
Elizabeth Taylor wasn’t just an actress; she was the icon of the complete Hollywood dream. Taylor performed in a total of 62 films in her lifetime, earning two Academy Awards for her performances. She was the first star in cinema to make $1 million for a film (Cleopatra). She raised $270 million for AIDS charities while getting married and divorced eight times.
Taylor’s passing has brought out many media celebrities who remember her fondly and speak nothing but good words about her. Larry King says that “she was a true movie star; in fact she was the last great movie star.” While she may have been one of the biggest movie stars of all time, there are many kids who have never heard of her until this news of her passing from congestive heart failure. Taylor was the first actress to live under the scrutiny of the public eye. For 65 years of her life, she was hunted by the papparazzi who reported her every nive and every scandal. From her love life to her eventual addictions and struggles, Taylor was always in the news. Her beauty was unmatched in the cinema and her relationship with fellow actor Richard Burton set off the greatest love affair in Hollywood.
Burton and Taylor were easily the Brangelina of their times between being pursued everywhere by paparazzi, every detail of their lives noted. Theirs was a life, we were told, just bursting with booze, humongous diamonds and extravagant fights. They made the city of Puerto Vallarta a cosmopolitan stop for the rich and famous just by being photograohed there one time. Their appetites for living large only made their passions for one another grander and more comprehensible to those fascinated by their every split and reconciliation. After a rocky ten year marriage, Taylor and Burton split in 1974 – only to be remarried sixteen months later, and then go their permanently separate ways in 1976.
After her eighth and final marriage failed with Larry Fortensky, Taylor announced she would never marry again. Taylor suffered struggles with her weight, alcohol and pills however, she was able to focus a lot of attention and her namesake to various charities around the world.
Taylor took the lead in promoting AIDS awareness when it was a scandalous topic in the media. She stood up for her longtime friend Michael Jackson during his 1993 and 2005 trails and blasted the press that spoke against him. In a life that seemed scripted by a bad writer, Elizabeth Taylor was the 20th century’s most enduring celebrity having eight marriages to seven husbands, headline scandals, and a career as an actress that veered from fine acting to self-parody, all done in high style.
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